Most who have their own business find it easy to put all their spare time into the business.
When you have a family too it becomes more of a juggling act.
Some have a misconception that work life balance means spending the same amount of time in your business as you do in the rest of your life. It is not that at all, it is about having time for the things highest on your values and to spend enough time in each that fills you up and gives you joy.
Here is Sally's experience to achieving this.
Sally was passionate about her wedding planning business because she loved seeing then entire family enjoy the day feeling joyful and relaxed. Sally’s husband Paul didn’t mind her putting in a couple of hours or so each night to catch up with her clients and ascertain what they wanted. He was a little frustrated that their dream of having a family and both being there for them and thought that it wasn't as important to Sally as she had said.
After 12 months of starting the business Sally found she was easily working 60+ hour weeks; meeting with clients, arranging the wedding receptions, and often the honeymoons, then attending the wedding receptions. Some weekends she was working on as many as 6 weddings. She was excellent at providing great service and looking after everything as her clients wanted, so she was continually getting referrals for more weddings - her business was growing steadily.
This started to affect the relationship between Sally and Paul. Sally wasn’t getting time to do the things she wanted or needed to at home. Sally knew there had to be changes in her business, but didn’t know where to start - close the business down, shift things around or change it entirely. She sought guidance of her Business Coach, Tara Bulum, to clarify the choices and opportunities. Sally and Paul discussed their values, the roles Sally and Paul play and which feed their souls. Tara suggested a few options for how Sally could structure her business to support this and assist in providing more balance for both of them. For Sally Partner Relationship, then Family and Business were the most important areas. It was uncovered that she saw business as highly important because it gave them the opportunity and means to have the lifestyle they really wanted. Paul's highest values were Family, Partner Relationship and Money. This helped them see they were working to common picture and how they may motivate each other.
After finding out Sally was pregnant Paul and Sally had a long dinner discussion about their family goals and timelines, they were surprised to find they were similar to each other. Due to previous discussions with Tara Bulum, Sally's Business Coach, they were able to make some important decisions about where they would spend most of their time so they were both being fulfilled, prioritising their roles against this (as they had discussed with Sally's business Coach) and apportioning their time accordingly. Both Sally and Paul wanted Sally to spend more time at home with Paul and the baby, so decided that Sally would take 6 months off from her business. A colleague she knew was able to assist her during this time. She engaged with them and gave them full training of her business so they could meet her goals and expectations.
During the last month of her pregnancy Sally spent took a long look at what she enjoyed most about her business and where she was spending most of her time. She found seeing clients and doing research for them was the time consuming. She was not surprised to find that she gained the most joy and satisfaction from the interaction with her clients, finding out about their dream wedding and delivering the finished product, and this was mostly outside of normal business hours.
This prompted Sally to change her working day to later in the day. After discussing this with Paul they agreed that it would be good for them if Sally worked her day from 12pm to 8pm Tuesday to Saturday. Paul was able to rearrange his week so they could have Monday’s off with Sally and work Sunday’s instead. They let all their family know that it was best not to contact them on Monday’s and Sally’s new working hours.
Sally employed someone to do the things she didn't enjoy - administration, customer follow-up and research for her gave her more time with her clients and for business planning and building, the two aspects she gained the most benefit from.
Engage a Business Coach to assist you to identify your values and role priorities.
Where do you want more time?
Change your hours to suit you and your family
Where can you benefit from outside assistance, from your kids, nieces or nephews or others?